I’m really liking it so far. It’s long, though—550+ pages.
Here’s a quote that reveals part of Zimbardo’s primary thesis here:
“Most institutions in any society that is invested in individualistic orientation hold up the person as sinner, culpable, afflicted, insane, or irrational. Programs of change follow a medical model of dealing only at the individual level of rehabilitation, therapy, reeducation and medical treatments, or punishment and execution. All such programs are doomed to fail if the main causal agent is the situation or system and not just the person. The Lucifer Effect calls for a paradigm shift of two kinds. We need to adopt a public health model for prevention of evil, of violence, spousal abuse, bullying, prejudice, and more that identifies vectors of social disease to be inoculated against, not dealt with solely at the individual level. A second paradigmatic shift is directed at legal theory to reconsider the extent to which powerful situational and systemic factors must be taken into greater account in sentencing mitigation.”
—Philip G. Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect. New York: Random House. 2007. viii.